KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Stephen Ezell, meteorological systems operator at Weather Station A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, releases a weather balloon. Such balloons are released twice a day. The package at the bottom is a radio sonde that collects temperature and humidity data as the balloon rises. The data is released to agencies nationwide, including the 45th Space Wing, which uses the data for its daily weather reports. The weather station provides additional data to NASA for launches -- releasing 12 balloons in eight hours prior to liftoff - and landings - releasing 5 balloons in six and a half hours before expected touchdown.